Marty Lyons Sets His Sights on Opening Day

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It was just a month ago that Marty Lyons' normal summer routine took a sharp detour.

"I had my golf tournament on July 10, then we had the dinner," Lyons, the Jets radio analyst, New York Sack Exchange charter member and 2013 Ring of Honor inductee, told me this morning. "I had all the kids in town, so we were making arrangements for who was going to make all the airport runs the next day.

"I went to bed. Then I woke up with cramps. I stood up, and the next thing I knew, paramedics were all around me. My blood pressure had spiked to 200. They took me to the hospital and ran all the tests. I told them I was seeing double."

The double vision went away, then returned. More tests revealed the 60-year-old Lyons had suffered a stroke.

It's great to be able to report that Marty's doing better now. He's driving himself to and from work and slowly getting back into the swing of things.

"This is going to take time. It's frustrating," he said. "One thing I found out the last four weeks is I'm not good at doing nothing."

And that's especially devastating for Lyons, who right about now would have been preparing for his and partner Bob Wischusen's first radio broadcast of the season, the Jets' preseason opener Saturday night against Tennessee.

"This is the first game I'm not in the booth in 16 years, preseason, regular season or playoff games," Lyons said, but he knows his health is more important than extending a 311-game radio streak. "The stroke could've been worse. It really puts everything in perspective about what's important in life. It's not like I sprained an ankle."

Lyons said his work the last 35 years "celebrating the dreams of very special children" through his foundation has helped him get through this challenge.

"I've never said, 'Why me?' You just have to deal with it," he said. "It's going to take time and patience and thoughts and prayers, and who knows? One day, you wake up and everything is back to normal."

The plan now is for Lyons to try to "do nothing" except recover. Former Jets TE Anthony Becht will take Lyons' seat next to Wischusen for the four preseason games on ESPN New York 98.7. Lyons said his "ultimate goal" is to be back in the booth for the Jets' season opener at Buffalo on Sept. 10.

"I have a great deal of respect for Anthony. I think he's going to do a professional job," Lyons said. "I got a text from Anthony wishing me a speedy recovery. He said, 'If I can do half as good as you do, I'll be happy with myself.' So when you have a guy like that stepping in for you, I wish him the best of luck and I know he's going to do great."

Becht, who's already filled his regular-season dance card with Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre- and postgame shows and his 65 shows on the Football Fan Shop on Home Shopping Network, tweeted out his best for Marty:

And Wischusen offered his healthing thoughts: "There are few things more unnerving than hearing the word 'stroke' and one of your best friends in the same sentence. Marty says he's feeling better and I believe him, but I'll feel a lot better when he's next to me in the booth again and I know he's OK."

Fans who want to send their get-well wishes to Lyons can email him at mylons@landtekgroup.com. But you'd better hurry, because as Marty has said, "Sitting around and doing nothing is not in my DNA."

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